Workshop on Creative Meditative Research in Psychology and Management
By Dr. Subhash Sharma
1-3 September 2014
At the International Conference organized by Zurich University of Applied Sciences
Quantitative and Qualitative research approaches are primary tools of knowledge creation in social sciences. With the emergence of neurosciences and consciousness studies, the idea of creative meditative research offers us some new ways of creative problem solving and solution finding. Sharma (2009) suggests 3×3 Research Matrix based on typology of research in terms of Quantitative, Qualitative and Creative research and methodology of research in terms of Empirical, Conceptual and Meditative approaches to knowledge creation. While Quantitative-Empirical research dominates the research paradigm, other approaches represented by 3×3 research matrix offer new potentialities for new knowledge creation. Creative Meditative research has not been used explicitly though many breakthrough ideas in various fields of knowledge have emerged from an unconscious use of this approach by many thinkers and social science researchers. For example many ‘analytic metaphors’ have originated from creative and reflective state of mind. Illustrations include iceberg model of mind by Freud, Hierarchy (hierarchy of needs) model of Maslow, invisible hand metaphor of Adam Smith, diamond metaphor of Michael Porter, Bottom of the Pyramid metaphor of C. K. Prahlad, etc. Such analytic metaphors have generated new knowledge leading to further research by many quantitative- empirical researchers.
Influence of creative meditative research approach can also be seen in natural sciences. Such influences have usually taken place via dreams wherein researcher’s mind acts as a receptor e.g. Watson ‘saw’ the double helix structure in his dream, Kekule ‘saw’ benzene structure in his dream and Dimitri Mendeleeve ‘saw’/ ‘received’ the idea of Periodic Table in his dream. Newton’s mind ‘blinked’ with the fall of apple and Ramanujan became ‘a man who knew infinity’. Thus, there are many examples of the creative insights originating from ‘mind blinking’ during ‘creative – meditative’ states of consciousness. This author has experimented with some new tools of creative meditative research and has used the ‘analytic metaphor’ approach to new knowledge creation in social sciences and Management.
In this respect, metaphor of ‘Western Windows Eastern Doors’ leads us towards ‘new knowledge corridors’ through a creative synthesis of Western and Eastern knowledge traditions. Aim of creative meditative research is to provide some new perspectives in social sciences with a view to enrich the existing knowledge base and also arrive at new creative solutions for contemporary social and organizational problems.
Sharma Subhash (1996 & 2006), Management in New Age: Western Windows Eastern Doors, New Age International Publishers, New Delhi
Sharma Subhash (2009), “Creative Meditative Research in Management: Towards ‘VITAL’ Mode of Learning”, in Global Recession, Survival and Growth: Role of Management Education, Selected Papers of the Seventh AIMS (Association of Indian Management Scholars) International Conference, (ed. Omprakash Gupta, V. Nagdevara, Subhash Sharma, Shivprakash Agrawal), AIMS, Houston, pp. 179-193